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Who’s Hiring Veterans?
These companies are, and they can’t wait to hire you.
By Dan Fazio 

The economy is still sputtering, the unemployment rate stubbornly hovers around 9 percent and Europe’s finances are a mess. Not a good time to be leaving the military, it would seem. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find some very positive news: corporate America is recruiting military veterans with great enthusiasm. So don’t sweat your transition – we’ve done the homework for you and identified the 2012 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® – the companies that are working the hardest to recruit you.whos-hiring-veterans219x292

10.3 million and counting …
Corporate America already employs 10.3 million veterans, including 1.7 million recently separated veterans. That’s not by accident, and it’s not because company recruiters feel sorry for you or want to wave the flag. Hundreds of corporations want to hire you because they recognize the economic advantage of hiring ex-military.

“Veterans bring an unbelievable skill set to the job,” said David J. McIntyre Jr., president and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. “They’re dedicated, trainable, willing to go extra lengths to get the job done and committed to the mission, whatever it may be for your company. Why wouldn’t you want to add people of that character and caliber to your own organization?” 

Leading the charge
Plenty do. The 2012 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® are leading the charge to recruit the talent exiting the military every year. They represent the top 2 percent of the 5,000 eligible companies – those that earn at least $500 million in annual revenues. Many are household names representing every imaginable industry – Amazon, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Southwest Airlines, CSX, Lockheed Martin, Shell and GE, to name just a few. They all have one thing in common.

“We’re committed to hiring America’s veterans because their superior training, experience in logistics and ability to work safely in demanding, team-based environments make them real assets,” said Michael Ward, chairman, president and chief executive officer of CSX, which was named to the list for the sixth time. 

Perennials bloom
Many of these companies are perennials on the Military Friendly Employers list. In fact, five companies have been named to the list every year since 2003, when G.I. Jobs began identifying the companies that do the most to recruit America veterans: Brink’s U.S., The Home Depot, American Electric Power, USAA and GE. 

New blood
Nearly two dozen companies are new to the list this year, including the No. 1 Military Friendly Employer® for 2012: Amazon. Amazon has been recruiting military veterans for years, and their skills and talent have helped the e-commerce giant become the largest online retailer in the world.

“We value the leadership experience that military veterans have brought to Amazon, and we’re honored that G.I. Jobs has named Amazon the #1 Top Military Friendly Employer®,” said Dave Clark, vice president of Amazon’s North American Operations. “We have a dedicated military program that has helped hundreds of veterans transition into the civilian work force and build their careers at Amazon, and we’re actively recruiting for even more veterans to join our company.” 

Something for everyone
If Amazon isn’t your fit, there are 99 others companies to consider. The 2012 Military Friendly Employers® list represents a veritable smorgasbord of employers, and your civilian dream job is bound to be somewhere on the list. Research these proven industry leaders, talk to their recruiters and find your new civilian career. Better even than Santa’s list, the Military Friendly Employers® list is our Christmas gift to you. Use the list to GET HIRED™.


On Point with Amazon
Get your résumé ready – this e-commerce monster is shopping for more amazon warriors.  

The recession hasn’t slowed down Amazon one bit. In fact, quite the opposite. The company that Jeff Bezos launched as an online bookstore in 1995 has grown into a cyber merchant of every imaginable product. Through 2010 and 2011, as the economy struggled to recover and analysts debated the likeliness of a “double dip” recession, Amazon posted record sales.

While profits dipped a bit in 2011 as Amazon invested heavily in the Kindle Fire – the tablet computer expected to give the iPad its first serious competition – and 17 new fulfillment centers, the company is focused on sustained, long-term growth. That translates to tens of thousands of jobs, and military talent tops the list of Amazon recruiters’ wish list.

“Thousands of soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan this year, and we’re proud to offer opportunities for them to join the hundreds of veterans already working in the Amazon fulfillment network,” said Dave Clark, vice president of Amazon’s North American Operations.

Amazon has a team of military recruiters, made up of veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces, that helps veterans transition into the civilian work force and find job opportunities within the company. Amazon also offers an internal network of military veterans to provide mentoring and support as new veterans transition into the company. 

G.I. Jobs spoke to Phil Dana, a former Navy warfare surface officer who now serves as Human Resources manager of military recruiting for North America Operations, about why Amazon recruits veterans and where you can find the hottest job opportunities. 

G.I. Jobs: What does it mean to be ranked the No. 1 Military Friendly Employer in the world?

Dana: Amazon has long supported military veterans as an employer, and it’s an honor to be recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine. We actively recruit U.S. military veterans to join our organization and provide them with programs to help them be successful once they’re on board. 

G.I. Jobs: What makes Amazon the most Military Friendly Employer®?

Dana: We actively recruit U.S. military veterans, but also work hard to provide several programs that help them transition more easily into the civilian work force once they’re working within the company. Once they’re on board, every veteran is connected with our vast network of military veterans to receive mentoring and support. 

G.I. Jobs: Why does Amazon recruit military veterans?

Dana: Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, and to get there, we need exceptionally talented and innovative leaders that can drive change and deliver results. We value the leadership skills and technical expertise that military veterans bring to our organization – they know how to take care of people and be mission-focused. 

G.I. Jobs: When did Amazon begin recruiting military veterans?

Dana: Amazon has long supported military veterans as an employer. 

G.I. Jobs: You listed “area manager” as your hottest job opportunity for veterans in 2012. Briefly describe the responsibilities of an area manager.

Dana: Area managers lead large teams of associates inside of fulfillment centers throughout the U.S., and overseas. They are responsible for meeting dynamic productivity rates, leading a culture of safety as our number one priority, motivating and developing associates, and exceeding our customer’s expectations. 

G.I. Jobs: Why is this position an ideal fit for veterans?

Dana: The position of area manager is a “rubber meets the road, roll up your sleeves, and jump into the fire” type of leadership role – the kind of role that resonates with military veterans. It poses dynamic challenges, where no day is the same.  It’s demanding and rewarding.  In this role, you’ll have a big goal, with little guidance, so it requires the ability to be nimble and make analytic decisions based on what you see at that specific moment.   

G.I. Jobs: What skills or education are required for this position?

Dana: We require a degree, a track record of progression and success, and leading large teams in a fast-paced environment. 

G.I. Jobs: What is the average starting salary for an area manager?

Dana: We have the ability to make a compensation package work for the individual through a combination of base salary, bonuses, and Restricted Stock Units.

G.I. Jobs: Is this position best suited for transitioning JMOs, or is it a good fit for junior and senior enlisted personnel as well?

Dana: We have hired several different backgrounds and ranks for this position, from NCOs coming out of top-tier MBA programs, SNCOs, JMOs, and senior officers.  In 2011 alone, we hired veterans from all ranks – from lance corporal to brigadier general. 

G.I. Jobs: What kind of careers can transitioning junior and senior enlisted military personnel expect to find at Amazon?

Dana: Amazon is a diverse company with many business units – we have tens of thousands of positions available, and we encourage veterans to work with our military recruiters to translate their skills into a great fit at Amazon. 

G.I. Jobs: Why should a veteran choose to work at Amazon?

Dana: Amazon has a culture of customer obsession, and our employees are committed to working hard, having fun and making history. Every employee has the opportunity to innovate and own interesting projects, and every tool that veterans acquired in the military will be used to meet those challenges head-on. 

G.I. Jobs: What advice do you have for transitioning military who want to pursue a civilian career at Amazon?

Dana: Apply via our military career site and connect with our military recruiters: www.gijobs.com/amazon. 

G.I. Jobs: Amazon has experienced explosive growth despite the worst recession since the Great Depression. What is the outlook for the next couple of years?

Dana: It’s still Day One at Amazon. One of the coolest things about working here is being able to collaborate and build with the world’s brightest minds.  


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